The Special Prosecutor has begun the prosecution of Bawku Central MP after charging him for fraudulently evading tax and dealing in foreign currency without a license.
Mahama Ayariga has been charged with the fraudulent evasion of taxes after he paid the duty of ¢6,000 when he imported three Toyota land cruisers instead of approved duty of ¢36,000.
The former Information Minister has also been charged with abuse of his office as a public officer for personal gain. The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, accuses him of selling the three Toyota vehicles which were purchased with a loan from Parliament meant for his use as a public officer to Fredrich Marfo of Atlas Rent A Car.
He also accuses Ayariga of Dealing in foreign exchange without a license and transferring money to an agent in Dubai without a requisite license when he purchased the car.
An Economic and Organised Crime Office prosecutor filed the case in court on March 22 this year. The SP wrote the particulars of offence charging him with five counts. The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP is one of 25 other former and current government officials under investigation by the anti-graft body.
However, former Information Minister Mahama Ayariga has stressed that he never abused his office for personal gain. Following a Joy News report highlighting these cases, the former minister has defended his actions, rejecting all three accusations against him.
On the matter of tax evasion in the importation of land cruisers, he has explained that he has complied with a tax assessment from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and has been issued receipts confirming his tax compliance. He also rejected accusations that he breached procurement rules in the purchase of some ambulances. Mr Ayariga has explained further that, he authorised the Bawku Municipal Assembly to use his share of the Common Fund to buy the ambulance.
The vehicles were brought in under duty exemption given by the Finance Minister and the Assembly paid the customs value for the ambulances. He said Martin Amidu has seized the ambulances and parked them for 10 months now
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